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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 09/07/2002
Member/Tenants' Special Interest Group 24th June 2002



APPENDIX N
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

MEMBER/TENANTS’ SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
24TH JUNE 2002

REPORT TO THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE ON 9TH JULY 2002

A. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN

The Special Interest Group (SIG) elected Dr M-G Lane (Executive Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Welfare issues) as its Chairman and Miss P Wright (Chairman of the Tenants’ Panel) as its Vice-Chairman for the current Council year.

B. PREVIOUS MEETING

The SIG received a copy of the notes of the previous meeting held on 8th April 2002 and approved these, subject to Mrs P Ellis being included in the list of apologies for absence.

C. SUPPORTING PEOPLE SCHEME
[Wards Affected: All]

C.1 The SIG received a presentation by Rebecca Pritchard, Lead Officer for Supporting People in Surrey. This is a Government backed initiative to change the way in which packages of support for vulnerable people in the community are funded. It comes fully into operation from April 2003 and under the new arrangements, Surrey County Council will have the lead responsibility for administering the scheme, designed to ensure that individuals have appropriate funding to meet their needs for support in daily life.

C.2 In December 2001, the Executive received a report on this matter and approved a set of measures by which the Council would be able to provide support for relevant tenants during the interim period leading up to implementation in 2003.

C.3 Rebecca Pritchard answered questions from members of the SIG on the various issues involved, including local priorities for development, the challenges which will have to be met, the structures in place for delivering a service and the strategy timetable. She will also make a presentation to the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee in September.

D. COUNCIL TENANT PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT - REVISED DRAFT
[Wards Affected: All]

D.1 The SIG received a further draft of the Council Tenant Participation Agreement which had been prepared by consultant Michael Guest and which incorporated the amendments suggested by the SIG at the previous meeting. Mr Guest addressed the SIG and afforded members the opportunity to make further minor amendments and to choose from two different cover designs for the final document which is due to be published in September. The final draft is attached at Annexe 1 to this report. The cover was awaited from the printers at date of despatch of the Executive Agenda.

D.2 The SIG RECOMMENDS to the Executive that

E. ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR - CONSULTATION PAPER
[Wards Affected: All]

E.1 The SIG received a comprehensive report on the Government’s Consultation Paper on Tackling Anti-Social Tenants and the Council's suggested response thereto which has to be made by 12th July, enabling the Executive to give consideration to the matter on 9th July.

E.2 The report, as submitted to the SIG, is contained as Annexe 2 to this report.

E.3 The SIG expressed general satisfaction with the proposed response. It agreed that the word ‘should’ be substituted for ‘could’ in line 1 of paragraph 79 of the report. It was also anxious to ensure that there would be an opportunity to discuss the development of a policy towards combating Anti-Society Behaviour specific to Waverley. Officers assured members that there would be a separate report on this subject to a future meeting.

E.4 The SIG RECOMMENDS to the Executive that

F. COMPLAINTS HANDLING
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Director of Housing outlined for the benefit of members of the SIG the new procedures for staff in handling complaints which was to be launched in July and would enable complaints to be recorded and monitored in a more efficient manner.

G. DECENT HOMES STANDARD
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The SIG received a brief presentation on the Government’s Decent Homes Standard a requirement that all Social Landlords should meet this standard by 2010. The subject would be returned to by way of a report to the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee later this year.

H. CHOICE BASED LETTING SYSTEMS AND ALLOCATIONS POLICY REVIEW
[Wards Affected: All]

H.1 The SIG received a report on Choice Based Letting which referred to the implementation of the decision by the Executive at its meeting on 1st May 2002 to task the SIG with producing a draft revised allocations policy for consideration ultimately by the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Executive. The SIG was reminded that the Council must publish its new statutory allocations scheme and associated policies by January 2003. The SIG would therefore need to produce a draft scheme for public consultation and consideration by the relevant Committees by November this year.
H.2 Because of the nature of the work to be undertaken in a comparatively short space of time, it was suggested that it would be more practical for this to be left to a Sub-Group of the SIG that could report back to the SIG which, in turn, would report on to the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Executive. It may be necessary to arrange an additional meeting of the SIG to accommodate this timetable and members would be advised as necessary in due course.

H.3 It was proposed that as part of its work, the Sub-Group would make one or more visits to other local authorities where choice based lettings systems were being piloted.

H.4 The SIG noted the new framework for housing allocations created by the Homelessness Act 2002, which takes effect from January 2003 and

RECOMMENDS to the Executive that

Present at the meeting on 24th June

Representing WBC

Dr M-G Lane (Chairman), Mrs P Ellis, Mr P B Isherwood, Mrs J R Keen, Mrs P N Mitchell and Mr J H Wootton (Apologies were received from Mrs E H Denningberg and Mrs A Mugford).

Representing the Tenants’ Panel

Miss P Wright (Vice-Chairman), Mrs I Birch, Mrs K Hall, Mr R MacDavitt, Mr R Randle, Miss E Taylor and Mr H Williams (Apologies were received from Mrs C Pugh)

The following officers were present:-

Mr D January (Director of Housing), Mr J Swanton, Mrs S Goodall, Mr B Nichols, Mr L Priebe, Mr D Simmons, Mr D Bennett.

comms/executive/2002/03/079 28975